Terry Francona has been doing his homework on the Cleveland Indians. He’s got a test coming up.
The former Boston and Philadelphia manager will interview Friday with the club, which fired Manny Acta last week following a second-half collapse that dropped the Indians from contention to near the bottom of the AL Central. Francona, who led the Red Sox to World Series titles in 2004 and 2007, will be the second candidate interviewed.
Today, Sandy Alomar Jr. will have his formal interview to become the Indians’ full-time manager. Alomar, who served as Acta’s bench coach, was named the club’s interim manager with six games left. The Indians finished 3-3 under Alomar.
Alomar was a six-time All-Star catcher with the Indians and immensely popular with Cleveland fans. The 46-year-old has previously interviewed with the Chicago Cubs, Toronto and Boston. He’s in line to get a major league’s manager’s job, but Alomar understands Francona may be viewed as a better option for the Indians, who contended for four months before going 5-24 in August — the worst month in the franchise’s 112-year history.
“I don’t have the resume that Terry has,” Alomar said. “Obviously, that’s a slam dunk. Geez, I wish I had that. As a player, maybe I did. But as a coach? He has an unbelievable resume. Obviously, anybody would want a Terry Francona. I’m just going to go out there and do what I have to do and let the rest take care of itself.”
Francona has been working as an analyst for ESPN. He was a special assistant in Cleveland’s front office in 2001, and told the AP last week that he would welcome a chance to work again with Indians general manager Chris Antonetti and team president Mark Shapiro.
“Chris and Mark are very dear to me and very important to me,” he said. “I know there are challenges and I look forward to maybe having the chance to work again with people I care about.”
Francona was let go by the Red Sox after the 2011 season, when the team collapsed down the stretch He has a 1,029-915 record in 12 major league seasons.
Francona’s father, Tito, played for the Indians from 1959 through 1964.